And you thought living in a college town had some disadvantages.
A British paper is reporting that exclusive South African suburbs around Cape Town are being plagued by drunken baboons.
The invading baboons have developed a taste for grapes used by wine makers, according to The Telegraph. “Each day, dozens of Cape Baboons gather to strip the ancient vines – the sauvignon blanc grapes are a particular favourite – before heading into the mountains to sleep. A few, who sample fallen fruit that has fermented in the sun, pass out and don’t make it home.”
While it all sounds quite entertaining – there’s nothing like a band of plastered primates for laughs – apparently it’s not all fun and games for those who have to put up with the bamboozled baboons.
Last week, a 12-year-old boy was left traumatized after confronting a troop of baboons who had broken into his family home., according to The Telegraph.
“Hearing noises from the kitchen, he went to investigate and found the beasts ransacking cupboards. When the child fled upstairs to find his babysitter, three males gave chase and surrounded him as he made a tearful phone call to his mother, while the animals pelted him with fruit.”
(Perhaps they pelted him with fruit because he was tearfully calling his mother?)
Seriously, chickens, geese, peacocks and even a Great Dane have been killed in recent weeks by the marauding baboons. In addition, roof tiles, electric fences, orchards and vegetables gardens have been trashed, the paper reported.
“Lunch parties in the garden are now just impossible,” a homeowner complained. “It is so unrelaxing. Rather than chatting over our meal, we are looking over our shoulders and bolting the food as quickly as we can before it is stolen. We can’t even leave a window open in summer. We are under siege.”
Before laws afforded baboons a protected status a decade ago, troublesome animals were regularly done away with by home owners and farmers. Now around there are some 20 full-time “baboon monitors” that are employed to protect them and guide them away from residential areas.
They’re apparently not cutting it.
“In a concession to despairing residents, wildlife authorities have begun collaring baboons identified as ‘troublesome’ and imposed a strict ‘three strikes’ policy whereby animals which repeatedly break into homes are humanely destroyed,” The Telegraph reported.